Two armed men who reportedly shot their way into a Pittsburgh apartment and demanded “stuff” from the tenant got the tables turned on them when the resident pulled out a shotgun and fired at the intruders, killing one and critically injuring the other.
Police found the body of David Calhoun, 31, inside the apartment and Christopher A. Thomas, 27, alive but lying face down on the front steps of the apartment building with an abdominal bullet wound about 2:20 a.m. Tuesday, TribLive.com reported, citing Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler. A handgun was lying nearby.
Thomas — who was in critical condition at a nearby hospital, TribLive reported — is charged with aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, conspiracy and carrying a firearm without a license — all felonies, according to court records. Thomas also was wanted on an arrest warrant from Pittsburgh police in connection to a rape that occurred in April.
The 19-year-old tenant, who wasn’t identified by authorities, lives there with his 17-year-old girlfriend. He told police that the men pushed inside the apartment after shooting into the door and then shoved him into a bedroom and demanded “his stuff,” TribLive reported.
That’s when the tenant pulled out a shotgun and fired three times, hitting both men, Toler said.
The tenant was taken away in handcuffs for questioning to Pittsburgh Police headquarters, reported KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, but Toler told the station that no charges would be filed against the resident.
“He was within his rights to have a shotgun in his residence,” she told TribLive. Neither the tenant nor his girlfriend were injured, TribLive reported.
“He’s one of those laid back, chill, hippie kids,” Michael Ferita, a neighbor, told KDKA. “He loves everybody, I’ve never seen the kid raise his voice, let alone fire a gun.”
Ferita and other neighbors said the apartment tenant and the two men who broke into it knew each other, KDKA noted in its video report. The station added that the tenant and his girlfriend returned to the scene, picked up a few things, and left again — perhaps for awhile to avoid a possible retaliation for the fatal shooting.
Neighbor Clara Hicks, 66, told TribLive she wasn’t surprised by the shooting: “It’s a bad neighborhood — drugs.”
A third individual connected with the incident was believed to have sped away from the scene in a black truck, KDKA noted, adding that the truck was later found and the driver taken into custody.
The shooting took place in the Carrick neighborhood where crews were filming the Hollywood movie “Southpaw,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and 50 Cent. In fact, police were hit by some confusion because the film crew had turned Merritt Avenue — where the shooting took place — into “Brady Avenue” for the movie.